JERUSALEM Three Americans were detained Friday during a demonstration against Israel's construction of a security fence near the West Bank town of Tullkarem.
The three were among 10 activists arrested as they tried to block Israeli bulldozers clearing land for the fence. About 100 Palestinians took part in the demonstration and one of them was among those detained.
Robert Smith, of St. Paul, Minn., said soldiers threw concussion grenades and tear gas, then dragged protesters away. At least one of the activists was severely beaten, he said.
An army spokeswoman said demonstrators scuffled with troops and threw rocks but offered no further details.
Smith said the activists belong to a pro-Palestinian group called the International
He identified the Americans arrested as Susan Barney, of Boston, Radhika Sairah, a California man whose hometown was not known, and Gordon Hutchins, a Methodist pastor from Yakima, Wash. The six other foreign activists detained were either Canadian or European, he said.
Israel began building the fence six months ago in an attempt to keep Palestinian militants from crossing into Israel. The proposed route roughly follows the unmarked border between Israel and the West Bank, but runs east of it in many places, cutting into Palestinian farm land.
Many international protesters arrested by Israeli forces in the West Bank have been deported.
© 2002 The Associated Press